Testimony: Opposition to Removing Transportation Planning Authority from MoCo Planning

December 4, 2023

Please accept this testimony on behalf of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the leading organization in the Washington DC region advocating for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for our region to grow and provide opportunities for all. 

CSG strongly opposes this bill, in particular the content of section 21-08. Transportation, land use, and housing decisions are intertwined. Decisions about transportation greatly affect our quality of life, shape how we move through our communities, and carry major equity and climate implications.

Montgomery County Planning has produced excellent and visionary plans that recognize the relationship between equity, environmental health, land use, and transportation. This has resulted in local and county transportation decisions that contribute to a comprehensive vision for a safer, economically thriving, and more equitable county. These plans are developed in collaboration with community members and stakeholders like MCDOT and DPS.

However, under this bill, groundbreaking plans like the recent Pedestrian Master Plan would no longer be possible. The bill would remove the Planning Department’s authority to offer guidance on many transportation decisions integral to people’s experience of, and access to, their communities and the county at large—including requirements for traffic control devices, allocation of rights-of-way to specific uses or modes, and standards and requirements for pedestrian and bicycle crossings and transit stops.

It is neither necessary nor appropriate to remove transportation planning authority from the Planning Department as proposed in this bill. Therefore, we strongly urge you to oppose this bill.

Carrie Kisicki

Montgomery County Advocacy Manager
Coalition for Smarter Growth